Thursday, April 30, 2020

April Games (and Other Stuff) - Part Four

This kind of turned into April Bike Rides (and some games)...

Also... This month felt like it went on for-EVAR!

I mean, I DID get in a fair bit of gaming... but... Seriously, as I'm finishing this up - looking back at the stuff I did a week ago, feels like a month ago... and looking back at the previous posts  through out the month (Part OnePart TwoPart Three), they all feel like a lifetime ago... Is anybody else having this sense of warped time? I feel adrift and I think it's the lack of regularly scheduled events - weekly game nights or dance/music classes to get the kids to... Even in the summer, when we don't have the same things on each day of the week, there is SOMETHING going on, some points of reference (this week we have to get Keira to Girls Rock Camp every morning at 9am, next week it's...  y'know... whatever....)

Maybe it's just that I stuffed so damned many pictures into this post. Really, it's a bit overwhelming.

Anyway... April... games were played... Here are some of the things we got up to this last week (and a bit...).

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Again with the Azul.

While eating leftover birthday pie!

Thursday, 23 April 2020 

Thursday I finally got out of the house after a few days of not bothering.

 It's amazing what a few days of +teens°C can do to the landscape while you're not paying attention.

No Snow in the fields. (more or less) Dry Roads.

Still ice on the river.

blue sky - instead of grey (with occasional blue patches)

Wetlands return.  I heard meadowlarks and saw cormorants.

strange things spotted on the side of the road.

gravel that seems to go on for ever.

apparently I just can't get enough of this blue sky.

Still some ice on the wetlands at Cedar Villa.

But the wetland in the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area - just across the road was melted and open water!

Grebes? Or maybe Cormorants? WE get both travelling through here around this time of year.

This is getting a little out of hand... Okay, maybe I'll tone down the cycling pictures.

More Azul in the evening.

Thought I was doing so good! Best game ever - scored 88 points!!!

And Amanda scores 102....!?

Friday, 24 April 2020

in the morning...

Actually convinced both the Grrrlz to go out for a ride with me to look for Crocuses.

Pelicans are back.

Damn, they're BIG bird when you see them up close - especially when they swoop just over your head!

ONE Crocus is all we found... ONE!

but there were loads of them just coming up. Bet there will be piles out on the weekend - not that I wanted to ride out there on the weekend as the trails would be lousy with people getting out!

More crocuses just coming up.

Coming across the Traffic Bridge, I spotted a beaver out swimming about in the river!

It is unusual to see them out in the day like this!

Pretty exciting morning out - pelicans, the first crocus, AND A Beaver!

we all stopped and watched it swim about.

swam right under us and then back towards the Broadway bridge.

checking out some other ducks on some very still water.

If all that weren't enough, we happened to run into our Irish Dance instructor and her family - including her wee baby, Adeline, whom none of us had met yet!

When we got back home, I dragged The boy out for a short jaunt to the south bridge - just to get a few more klicks in...

I... um... didn't actually PLAY any games on Friday... just went for that bike ride... and then another one later to pick up some groceries...

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Um... another ride...

This was a longer solo ride - mostly on gravel southwest of town.

sky and gravel that just goes on and on in a straight line forever.

Some kind of bluebird.

I'm not sure if these are Llamas or Alpacas. They aren't native to these parts!

Saw some swallows for the first time this spring.

Pussy Willows!

Saturday I talked Amanda into trying out Castles of Burgundy with just two players. She's been reluctant to try out games we've only previously played with 3, 4, or 5 players. But I reminded her that Terraforming Mars turned out to be just fine (really, I have no idea how we'll ever be able to play it with MORE players, now!?)

Castles of Burgundy turned out quite fun with just the two of us! And it played pretty quick (compared to previous games where we played with 3 or !)

Amanda telling me what I did wrong and why she beat me by so much.

(I'm kidding... mostly.... Actually she was just marvelling at how much more of the boards we filled up when only playing with two - and how I managed to fill up more of my board than hers... and then... y'know... still lose by SO MUCH!?)

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Out for a ride in the morning...

It was a bit cooler and threatening rain, so I took ride to the north bridge - figuring there'd be less people on the trails - and if it got really cold I could bail and cut the route short and just head home from a number of different locations.

I'd been hearing Redwinged blackbirds on a couple rides, but never really close enough to get a picture of one.

The wind was out of the West-Southwest, so I didn't really feel it while heading north and then east... but when I turned south along this road I was really starting to feel it.

then turning into this one, I was headed straight into the wind... and it started spitting...

I made it back to the river and scouted out some of the dirt trails on the upper bank - which seemed mostly dry.

Lower lying areas still wet - and in some places covered with snow and ice.

Canada Geese and Mallards

SO MANY more crocuses - after a day of sun and a bit of rain.

All over certain sections of grassland, just off the paths by the river bank.

Made note of the locations to bring Amanda back at some point - soon!

More dirt trails.

Salt and Pepper. Pelicans and... Cormorants? I think...? They're like gangs with their own separate territory.

by the time I got back downtown it was really raining and the temperature was starting to drop, but I was feeling okay, so I kept going.

Looking at the South Bridge in the rain.

Looking back towards downtown from the South Bridge.

Still snow and ice on the river.

The home stretch - last stretch of road back up the west side of the river.

Putting this here because I think I posted on this blog... (somewhere...?) about my efforts to shed some weight, get back into shape and stave off type Type Two Diabetes!? A short recap...

This is where I was at last May.... and around this time I'd gone for a blood test and my doctor informed me that my A1C was veering into the Type Two Diabetes range... so I tried out this Keto diet and started riding my bike again... you know, for fun and fitness - not just to get places... (which I was already doing).

Those are Kilograms.

If you compare it with the picture above, that's TWENTY KILOGRAMS I've shed in the last year. (about 45 lbs!). Also brought my A1C back into completely normal range.

I'm not done, I'd like to get down to 90Kg (or lower).

So... feeling pretty good about that at least. Other things? Well... that's a whole other story for another time...

Sunday we played a second game of Castles of Burgundy.

I had fun. I didn't get creamed by nearly as much. I have no illusions about ever winning or anything. but it's a fun game to play, so...

Sunday yoga dance party Amanda ran, remotely, for a couple of friends families.

Afterwards, we played a quick game of Azul over supper.

Monday, 27 April 2020 

Monday afternoon Amanda joined me for a ride to go check out those crocuses.

There were loads of them all over.

And so many bees! I haven't seen so many bees in such a long time - it was uplifting to see so many, when, over the last few years, there have been so many stories in the news about the declining bee population and what an impact it could have on ecosystems and, indeed, our food very supply!

More crocuses.

STILL more crocuses...

You get the idea: we spent some time looking at crocuses...

After we got home we played a quick game of Century: Golem Edition.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Tuesday I managed to talk #2 in joining me for a ride. She's been feeling even MORE isolated than she usually feels, by all this social distancing, and has gone for days without leaving the house and sometimes barely comes out of her room.

She had mentioned having fun on our ride on Friday, despite her initial misgivings, so I made a point of asking her to come along on MOST of my rides for the rest of the week. She didn't always... but she did sometimes!

It was mostly clear - bit of a wind out of the west.

Not too hot, not too cold.

LOTS of birds at the Chappell Marsh Conservation Area.

We just hung out and watched swallows zip around and dip and dive. Or just hang out on their nesting boxes and chirp.

There were a few Redwing Blackbirds as well.

Didn't play any games on Tuesday....

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Didn't actually get out for a ride today - which was odd, because it was +20°C!

Just... I don't know... couldn't get motivated...

We did play Carcassonne, though!

Even got the Girl to play! Bike ride one day - actually playing a game the next! She's on a roll!

She's the one that made that back for drawing tiles - a couple years ago!

Laughs were had. Everyone berated me for getting so many points from Farming - like it's some sneaky, devious way of scoring points...? I admit, I do it all the time. I've explained how THEY can do it. I've explained how they can STEAL those points from me... yet no one ever does (though Keira DID actually TRY this time... but I just added in my pig... and another farmer...). As we were counting up point, though, Keira was way ahead of me, and I though she'd won, but then Amanda reminded me we hadn't counted points for all the goods and I snuck back into first place... but only just!

Thursday, 30 April 2020

In the afternoon I dragged #2 out for a ride AGAIN!!

It was +30°C out today. It was -20°C at the beginning of April. Contrast these pictures with the cycling pictures I started including in Week Two of April Games.

Cows and calfs.

So nice out. We had a head wind on the way out - so it was a bit of a struggle, but it kept it cool. It was when we turned back and weren't even working so hard that I started to feel really hot!

Hit some dirt trails on the way home - which are now, thankfully - totally dry!

Once again, Amanda and I played Azul while she was eating supper.

On the second bloody turn she forced me to pick up these entirely useless red tiles... and set me all the way back to zero. Good thing we weren't keeping track of negative points!

If that weren't enough, she did it AGAIN a couple turns later, just as I was catching back up....

Somehow I managed to, not only catch back up, but totally crush this game!? I ended up with 133 points!? and had all but two spaces filled - four columns (+7 points each), three rows (+2 points each), and three colours that I had all five of (+10 points each)!? I have no idea how I lucked out on that!?  Maybe Amanda threw it at the end because she felt so bad about leaving two big piles of completely useless red tiles for me earlier in the game!?  (I doubt it...)

In total this month, we played:

Terraforming Mars x8
Splendor x4
Carcassonne x3
Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress x3
The Castles of Burgundy x2
Century: Golem Edition x2
Castle x1
Fauna x1
Legendary Encounters: A Firefly Deck Building Game x1
Machi Koro x1

I'd hoped to play MORE Blackstone fortress.... but I can't complain.

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I have a couple of posts in the works about Imperial Guard and Space Marine Kill Teams I've been working on.

I'll probably continue with weekly-ish game (and other stuff) updates... but maybe I'll try and cool it with the bike ride pics!?